Pain stops play :-(

I was hoping that I would have lots of lovely things to show you from my weekend and from the last few days as I have had the luxury of time not at work but sadly I have trapped a nerve in my shoulder and so have been doing very slow and steady stitching with not much of note to share.

It is very painful and I am miffed, not least as these were my two free weekends to get all of my Christmas ornaments sorted. I am working Saturdays again for the next couple of weeks so have limited free time until mid November.

Ho hum best laid plans as they say. At least I have lots of great TV to watch, I have been enjoying some Sci Fi, courtesy of friend’s recommendations. I have been watching the new Star Trek:Discovery and an X-files like Stranger Things, both of which I have really enjoyed.

I do have a finish to share with you from previous work, this is one of the lovely Jenny of Elefantz’s designs which I made as a, ‘thank ewe’ , present for my friend Sharon for all her help over the past few years with taking Jake to and from Uni. She likes sheep and we have plenty in Marsden so it seemed appropriate!

Thankewe 1

This is from Jenny’s Primitive Stitching series which was part of the Stitchery Club a while ago. I can’t find this pattern on her Craftsy page but there are many more other gorgeous ones there. I particularly love the little cotton reel.

She also has a free Block of the Month , this year based around the theme of home which you can find at the link. She is so generous with her free patterns and tutorials and all of her things are so pretty, I love visiting her blog!

I really need to stitch some more of her designs soon and I love these which are on vintage linen, pics from Jenny’s Craftsy page.These are both from this year’s Block of the Month.

ELEFANTZ BOM 2017 block 4 cover

ELEFANTZ+guard+your+heart+cover

I have a few quiet days this week as I am working from home, hopefully things will improve and I will be back to full capacity soon. Thank god for the internet, at least I can browse and look at all of the lovely things other people have been making as well.

Hope that you are all well and happy, take care and thanks for visiting.

Advertisements

Gorgeous and so tiny!

I have not had chance to get here to post pictures of the Victoria costumes at Harewood until now. Work has been pretty busy and I taught last Saturday and then we had Jazz festival. Really enjoyed that as always though due to work only volunteered Sat night and Sunday.

The costumes that we saw were beautifully made and we marveled at the size of them. Jenna Coleman must be so minute to fit into these outfits, even with the benefit of a corset!

There were two rooms with costumes in, the first showed some of the gowns belonging to her ladies in waiting.

Then the gorgeous ballroom had four of Victoria’s gowns in.

Harewood costume 5

Beautiful work and it was great to be able to see them very close up.

Harewood costume 6

This muslin and lace one was my favourite, given that I love old lace so much. It was beautiful!

Harewood costume 7

Harewood costume 8

Harewood costume 9

They also had the coronation gown which was embroidered with motifs representing all of the four emblems of the UK.

Harewood costume 10

Harewood costume 11

Harewood costume 12

Here is a picture of it from the series.

Victoria coronation pic

The last gowns were a layered dress of voile and gold silk and a simple but very pretty day dress.

I would have loved to see the wedding dress as well, so pretty!

Victoria wedding pic

 

I have yet to start watching Season 2 but am looking forward to more gorgeousness when I do.

I am enjoying the luxury of a whole weekend at home and have no real plans other than stitching some Christmas ornaments and lots and lots of relaxing watching TV, or rather watching programmes.

I have recently got rid of all TV services so am now just using my laptop and Netflix and Amazon Prime and have not missed the old TV services at all.I was not watching enough programmes when they were aired to warrant the cost so have upgraded to super fast broadband and all digital content, very 21st century!

I hope that you have a lovely weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

Delightful dahlias

Well we are just back from our visit to Harewood, it was quite a nice day weather wise so we got some time in the garden.

As always the dahlias were our favourite, these are so pretty and the colours just wonderful.

The gardens were looking really gorgeous as well, I do love all the autumn colours of the trees in the distance. We had gone primarily to see the Victoria costumes and I took lots of pictures of those and the house which I will put in the next post.

Term has gone well so far but I am really busy at the moment with late nights and teaching Saturdays so crafting time is almost zero. Lots of planning projects in my head though and I have made the first of the Christmas ornaments which I will share with you soon.

The Yarndale stall went well, not certain how much I sold yet but had a very lovely comment from someone here on the blog who had bought some of my things so thank you Natalie! Here is the stall and you can see my bags on display at the back.

Yarndale stall - 2017

So just a short post for today, hope you are all well and enjoying the start to autumn, take care and thanks for visiting.

The prayers were answered!

We had a great time at our last event at Caldicot last weekend and were lucky enough to have good weather, a bit of rain on Fri afternoon during set up and during the battle on Saturday but the guys were in armour so couldn’t feel it ;-). This picture below is of the castle encampment taken by our lovely friend Pat on Saturday.

Caldicot castle camp 2017

It did rain really heavily Saturday night, we were in the beer tent at that point luckily so were just listening to the thunderous noise the deluge made on the roof of the tent! However all was well during the day time and so I got chance to photograph the camp as well.

Caldicot camp 3

Caldicot camp 4

I made a new friend, the Lady Louise above, who also makes head dresses as you can see and gave us some great tips on how to make a heart shaped hennin and came and joined us for our costume talk on Sunday.

Caldicot camp 5

Caldicot camp 7

It was a great last event, I got four more interviews done for my doctorate, two with some of the Plymouth Medieval Group who did a fab dance display for us on the Sunday.Their costumes are so gorgeous.

Caldicot dance 1

Caldicot dance 2

Caldicot dance 3

There were lots of groups there and the battles went really well, Ellie and I marshalled again which we really enjoyed. Here I am with my big marshalling stick.

Caldicot battle marshal 1

I have had a good start to  term, 52 new students this year so lots of names to try and learn! Bit of a setback when I broke the toilet Tuesday morning, (bottle falling from shelf smashed the side). It has been mended but was very expensive and I now need new bathroom flooring at some point 😦

Have been looking after Ted this weekend while Sharon is at Yarndale so have not had time to work on the jacket but have made a couple more pouches for Mum to give to her fundraising events.

There will be very little crafting this coming week as it is the start of teaching but Ellie and I are planning a visit to Harewood House next weekend to see costumes from the Victoria TV series.Very exciting!

Will be back in a week or so with some pictures from that. Thanks as always for visiting.

 

My new obsession

Since joining the Seamstress Squadron page and starting to look at other costuming blogs I have been spending many happy hours looking at other people’s creations and the information available.

I am amazed, both with the dedication of the sewers and their beautiful creations but also at the level of detail and help available and just didn’t realise there was all this out there. I have also found some people who have used the same pattern as me and made wonderful things.

Look at this beautiful outfit below, I have forgotten which forum it came from but it is using this Butterick pattern that I have and they have altered the shape of the jacket and used the edge of the fabric in such a beautiful way. Isn’t it just stunning!

Butterick pattern 1Butterick pattern 2

Burda jacket pattern adapted - small

This level of information doesn’t really exist in the same way for the medieval re-enactment costumes, there are some people who we use as sources who are very good such as this history of fashion blog but there are some significant differences between what you can find out.

One of course is that there are still lots of Victorian clothes around in museums and even available for people to buy, books, patterns written at the time and lots of wonderful fashion plates from magazines and adverts, especially about the miracles of corsetry. There are even photos as well and Wearing History blog has a fantastic selection of these under her ‘What real people wore’, posts.

Victorian corset ad

 

The Delineator magazine, founded by Butterick in 1869 is mentioned a lot and this site has some scans of these magazines. Aren’t these gorgeous covers?

Delineator magazine 1

Delineator magazine 2

 

Another great blog is Historical Sewing, what this women doesn’t know about making 19th century garments probably isn’t worth knowing anyway.

The most we get for medieval is paintings and manuscripts, beautiful though they are it does leave you wondering how they made the garments and what they are made from. I use the Web Gallery of Art as a primary source.

The other  is of course the authenticity, since we work for English Heritage a lot we have to have a very high level of authenticity whereas many people who make costume do it for fun and for events such as balls and Steampunk so they are sharing their interpretations of things.

The other thing that I realised is that since I have such a wide circle of friends who make costume for re-enactment I have tended to go them for advice rather than the miracles of the internet. When I first started re-enacting I made a lot of kit and did do some research but that was a long time ago, 14 years, pre-blogging and pre- Facebook 😉 and there was not so much info out there so I have really stopped looking and use the same sources that I have come to trust.

This links in well to my doctoral research as I am looking at how people gain the skills and knowledge they need to make things for re-enactment so it is useful to reflect on myself as a beginning costume maker for a different era.

Ellie and I are thinking of taking some classes to help us adjust patterns. For our medieval garments we either have tried and trusted patterns or use existing garments as patterns so we have not much experience of fitting the more complex Victorian shapes.

I have been rapidly adding things to my new Steampunk Pinterest pages such as these amazing outfits below. I love the lilac dress in the background here.

Victorian outfit 1
Victorian outfit 2

And since I already have a black velvet jacket wouldn’t this skirt be lovely with it? Of course none of this may ever see the light of day as actual garments but it is fun researching!

I am off to Ellie’s tomorrow on the first leg of the journey to Caldicot Castle, please pray for fine weather for us as we really want the event to be a success!

I will be back next time with hopefully some more progress on the jacket, even if it is only a post about how hard the fitting is and am planning to devote the weekend to putting it together. Wish me luck!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

 

 

The last of the flock… for now!

I have just finished the very final pouch for Yarndale and so will be packing everything up this week for Sarah to take with her. It isn’t until the 23rd of Sept but it is nice to be ready well in advance and I am hoping to go if I have time.

Yarndale sheep bags 1

 

The sheep bags have had good reactions from my friends at knitting so I think that I will be making some more of them.I think they are very cute and am hoping they will be popular.

I have really enjoyed doing them and the sewing themed ones so will carry on making them in between other things. Got to make a start on the Xmas ornaments for this year soon 😉

I have also made a few more of the bags, these are from the fabric I had last year.

Yarndake bags Sept 1

Yarndake bags Sept 2

Yarndake bags Sept 3

I have made pincushions for most of the bags and tried to make them all individual in design and thought that this one would look pretty with lace attaching it.

Yarndake bags Sept 5

I love the sewing motifs and was really pleased to get some more in a similar design at the Steampunk market at Lincoln.

Yarndale new fabric 1

Yarndale new fabric 2

Yarndale new fabric 3

I shall be away next weekend at our last event at Caldicot Castle in South Wales. Really looking forward to seeing everyone before the season ends. Term starts next week so it will be back to long days and snuggling under the fleece with candles lit in the evenings 🙂

I have not made any more progress on the jacket yet but had some really nice comments on it from the Seamstress Squadron page and some very helpful tips and pictures from people who have already made the pattern. I will be concentrating on that in a couple of weeks once I have a free weekend.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Plus difficile? Pattern matching with a difference

So today I made a start on the Steampunk jacket. My intention was just to iron the pattern, a top tip from the Seamstress Squadron forum,  then cut the pieces out and have a little think about how I might lay them out.

However I have ended up with a jacket all cut out and so far I am very pleased 🙂

I was a little daunted when I opened the pattern, I hadn’t looked too carefully at it when I bought it as it was late at night and it was on sale and well… there may have been wine involved 😉 I just thought, ‘ooh how pretty’ , and clicked.

The back of the packet did not inspire confidence with its, ‘plus difficile’, rating and when I looked at the instructions it felt a bit complicated. But I managed to make the wedding jacket for Amanda from a similarly complicated pattern, with a lining, so as I sorted the pieces and worked out how it all goes together I felt a bit more confident.

I am intending to alter the pattern a bit though, what I did not realise was that the front panel which is in the contrast dark blue on the illustration is cut like a facing then folded back and stitched onto the main front.

I am also not making the back longer and there will not be a bow. And I wanted to use these three tablecloths to make it, kindly held up by Jake, excuse the lack of light it, it has been raining here all day.

Steampunk linen jacket 5 tablecloth

Steampunk linen jacket 6 tablecloth

Steampunk linen jacket 7 tablecloth

Add to that the fact that I am a bit spatially challenged anyway when it comes to layouts and what could possibly go wrong!

I tried all of the pattern pieces on all of the table cloths and eventually decided on a layout that I liked.

I could have left it there, it took me about two hours to pluck up the courage to cut into Amanda’s fabric but that was £40 a metre silk and the end of the roll and this was three tablecloths costing £12 in total so just thought why not go for it so I did.

Steampunk linen jacket 14 cut frontjpg

I am very pleased with the way it has turned out, there was plenty of fabric and I have managed to match motifs easily to the pieces. To my surprise the smallest tablecloth had enough for both front pieces.I will have to lose some of the design at the bottom though as it is too long at the moment but love the shoulder pieces.

Steampunk linen jacket 13 cut back

I am especially pleased with the back and the way I have been able to stagger the stitched motifs. Below is one of the sleeves, front and back piece. I like the trailing design for the arms.

Steampunk linen jacket 12 cut sleeves

I also love the way the three different designs go together, they have all been stitched with the same palette of threads and I think they work very well.

Steampunk linen jacket 15 cut layout

I was expecting less cohesion which would have been fine.

Steampunk linen jacket 16 cut layout closeup

The look I am going for is slightly bizarre anyway as this jacket will probably be accessorised with stitching charms etc and worn with the purple top hat but I think it is splendid so far.

Steampunk linen jacket 17 cut layout closeup 2

I will have to do some serious fitting though as had to cut out a size 24 to accommodate my generous bosom, luckily having made clothes from scratch before I know how strange the sizings can be and will have to do lots of cutting down of sleeves etc.

Will be a few days before I can do any more work on it and I need to underline it, have lots of cotton in my stash that I will use for that, some old curtains will do nicely!

I do really love the, ‘make do and mend’ attitude of the Seamstress Squadron, so many people making wonderful things out of old curtains and adapting charity shop clothes, it is perfect!

Until then take care and thanks for visiting.